In his first homily as Pope Francis, the Holy Father hit on themes of Catholic identity. Catholic News Agency's David Uebbing reports that Pope Francis said that without Christ crucified, the Church would be a 'pitiful' organization.
“We can walk all we want, we can build so many things but if we don’t confess Jesus Christ, then something is wrong," said Pope Francis in his March 14 homily. "We will become a pitiful NGO, but not the Church, spouse of Christ."
"He who does not pray to the Lord prays to the devil. When we don't proclaim Jesus Christ, we proclaim the worldliness of the devil, the worldliness of the demon."
Pope Francis delivered the homily at the Mass to close the conclave on Thursday evening in the Sistine Chapel with all of the cardinal electors present. He drew together the day's Scripture readings to talk about the theme of movement - walking, building, and confessing.
"When we walk without the cross, when we build without the cross and when we proclaim Christ without the cross, we are not disciples of the Lord. We are worldly,"
The Pope then applied his words to himself and his brother cardinals, saying, “We might be bishops, priests, cardinals and Popes, but we are not disciples of the Lord” if we leave the Cross behind.
“I would like all of us, after these days of grace, to have the courage, precisely the courage, to walk in the presence of the Lord, with the cross of the Lord, to edify the Church in the blood of the Lord poured out on the cross and to confess the only glory, that of Christ crucified. And, in this way, the Church will move forward,” he said as he finished his homily.
Pope Francis will be installed as Pope on March 19 at 9:30 a.m. in St. Peter’s Square.
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